United States And Canada
In the United States and Canada, the terms learning disability and learning disorder refer to a group of disorders that affect a broad range of academic and functional skills including the ability to speak, listen, read, write, spell, reason, organize information, and do math. People with learning disabilities generally have intelligence that is average or higher.
Legislation in the United States
The Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act 1973, effective May 1977, guarantees certain rights to people with disabilities, especially in the cases of education and work, such being in schools, colleges and university settings.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, formerly known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, is a United States federal law that governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to children with disabilities. It addresses the educational needs of children with disabilities from birth to the age of 21. Considered as a civil rights law, states are not required to participate.
Early Intervention Is Key
I talked to a lot of parents about what we were dealing with in the beginning, hoping for any advice or insights those who had been through something similar might be able to share.
I was surprised by how many parents seemed to want to discount the idea of learning disorders entirely.
Several of the people I spoke to said learning disorders were just the school systems way of keeping kids in boxes, or explaining why some couldnt succeed within their system.
This was surprising to me, especially because the research on learning disorders is so extensive .
And while some parents may think their kids will eventually catch up on their own, the research has found that when learning disorders are involved, the learning gap between kids who have them and their peers persists without intervention.
Early intervention is key, Lauren said. The longer a parent waits for a child to receive the needed support, the harder it will be to make up for lost time, both academically and emotionally.
Myszak explains that children are generally very aware of how they stack up against their peers, and that when they continue to struggle, they may develop low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.
According To Weta Dysgraphia Is A Writing Disorder:
- Dysgraphia can be defined as a deficiency in the ability to write, regardless of the ability to read, and is not due to intellectual impairment. Dyspgraphia is a neurological disorder and usually appears when a child first learns to write .
- The cause of dysgraphia is unknown. Early recognition of dysgraphia can help the individual by having them perform special exercises when writing to increase muscle strength and memories of what it feels like to write certain letters
- Teachers can help children with dygraphia by allowing the student to take tests by recording their answers into a voice recorder or typing out their answers on a typewriter or computer instead of writing it down on a piece of paper .
- According to Russell , there are three subtypes of dysgraphia:
- Dyslexic dysgraphia: when spontaneously written work is usually illegible while copied work is usually okay. Someone who presents dyslexic dysgraphia does not mean they also have dyslexia, although they are often found together.
- Motor dysgraphia: usually linked to deficient fine motor skills. Most written work is usually illegible, even if it has been copied. Long periods of writing may be painful and the letters will get worse as the person continues to write. Spelling is not affected with motor dysgraphia.
- Spatial dysgraphia: usually has idifficulties understanding the space available on the page. Again, written work, both spontaneous or copied is usually illegible.
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Facts About Learning Disabilities
- Fifteen percent of the U.S. population, or one in seven Americans, has some type of learning disability, according to the National Institutes of Health.
- Difficulty with basic reading and language skills are the most common learning disabilities. As many as 80% of students with learning disabilities have reading problems.
- Learning disabilities often run in families.
- Learning disabilities should not be confused with other disabilities such as autism, intellectual disability, deafness, blindness, and behavioral disorders. None of these conditions are learning disabilities. In addition, they should not be confused with lack of educational opportunities like frequent changes of schools or attendance problems. Also, children who are learning English do not necessarily have a learning disability.
- Attention disorders, such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and learning disabilities often occur at the same time, but the two disorders are not the same.
According To Weta Dyscalculia Is A Mathematics Disorder
- Treating dyscalulia requires the student to fully understand their own strengths and weaknesses in regards to the math disorder. Parents and teachers can work together to form strategies to help the student improve their math skills. Tutors are usually a good way to help the student outside of the classroom. Repeated practice of straighforward ideas can make learning the math concepts easier for these children. Some other strategies include using graph paper so the individual can organize their thoughts better on the paper, finding different ways to approach math facts, starting with specific concrete examples before moving on to more abstract principles, and placing the child in a place with little distractions with all the materials needed for the study .
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Learning Disorders In Children
Find information and resources for people with developmental and behavioral disabilities
Many children may struggle in school with some topics or skills from time to time. When children try hard and still struggle with a specific set of skills over time, it could be a sign of a learning disorder. Having a learning disorder means that a child has difficulty in one or more areas of learning, even when overall intelligence or motivation is not affected.
Some of the symptoms of learning disorders are
- Difficulty telling right from left
- Reversing letters, words, or numbers, after first or second grade
- Difficulties recognizing patterns or sorting items by size or shape
- Difficulty understanding and following instructions or staying organized
- Difficulty remembering what was just said or what was just read
- Lacking coordination when moving around
- Difficulty doing tasks with the hands, like writing, cutting, or drawing
- Difficulty understanding the concept of time
Examples of learning disorders include
- Dyslexia difficulty with reading
- Dyscalculia difficulty with math
- Dysgraphia difficulty with writing
Available Treatments And Tools
One of the things I asked in my first meeting with the school district was what could be done to help if the evaluations found my daughter did, in fact, have a learning disorder.
I was told there are a variety of learning methods that have been found to work better for kids with various learning challenges and reading groups she could attend. Tutoring could be arranged as well as accommodations in the classroom to allow her more time on tests.
There were also various tools that might help her better process what shes learning in the moment.
It all depends upon the disability and what part of the learning process is affected, Mandell said, explaining that tutoring as well as access to reading, math, or writing specialists are all potential options.
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Other Disorders That Make Learning Difficult
Difficulty in school doesnt always stem from a learning disability. Anxiety, depression, stressful events, emotional trauma, and other conditions affecting concentration make learning more of a challenge. In addition, ADHD and autism sometimes co-occur or are confused with learning disabilities.
ADHD Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder , while not considered a learning disability, can certainly disrupt learning. Children with ADHD often have problems sitting still, staying focused, following instructions, staying organized, and completing homework.
Autism Difficulty mastering certain academic skills can stem from pervasive developmental disorders such as autism and Aspergers syndrome. Children with autism spectrum disorders may have trouble communicating, reading body language, learning basic skills, making friends, and making eye contact.
Visual Perceptual/visual Motor Deficit
Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit affects how a person sees as well as how they are able to copy or draw. The signs can be as subtle as a difference in printed letters or shapes, struggle with using scissors, poor eye/hand coordination and holding a pencil too tightly. People with Dysgraphia or Non-Verbal Learning Disability often have Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit issues.
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Section : Disability In Canada
Disability is becoming increasingly common in Canada. The disability rate in 2006 was 14.3%, meaning that over 4.4 million Canadians, or about one in seven, had a disability. Disability rates vary across Canada’s provinces and territories, and also steadily increase with age. The disability rate among seniors is much higher than among children43.4% of seniors aged 65 and over compared to 3.7% of children aged 14 and under have a disability.
Every person with a disability has a unique experience. Severity of a disability can impact all dimensions of a person’s life. The more severe a person’s disability, the more barriers he or she may encounter. The majority of Canadians with disabilities have mild to moderate activity limitations. Overall, across Canada, 8.6% of people experience mild to moderate disabilities, and another 5.7% experience severe to very severe disabilities.
Certain types of disabilities are also much more common than others. Children are more likely to be diagnosed with disabilities related to their academic and social functioning. The most common types of disabilities for children are learning limitations, communication limitations and developmental or delay limitations. In contrast, adults are more likely to be diagnosed with disabilities commonly associated with aging. The most common types of disabilities for adults are pain-related, mobility and agility disabilities.
Section : Provincial/territorial Information
Table 8.1 presents disability information among different age groups for every province and territory across Canada.
Reported disability rates differ across provinces and territories. The highest rate of self-reported disability is found in Nova Scotia it is almost double the rate reported by respondents in Quebec, which is the lowest. It is worthwhile to note that individual perception is an important aspect of self-reported disability rates, and many factors may affect the disability rates presented.
The remainder of this section provides provincial and territorial data using the same life-cycle approach used in sections 3 through 7 of the report. Key indicators of full and effective participation are presented for each of the different age groups. The provincial and territorial data provided in this section aim to further assist all people interested in disability issues across Canada.
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Auditory And Visual Processing Disorders
With these types of disorders, a person has “difficulty receiving and responding to information that comes through the senses, despite normal hearing and vision,” Schiff explains.
For instance, someone with an auditory processing disorder has trouble hearingbut there’s nothing wrong with the person’s ear. Instead, this occurs because brain doesn’t process and “hear” sounds, according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. This can affect learning in many ways. Following spoken directions or listening to someone speak for a period of time are difficult. That said, it is not considered a learning disorder, according to the Nemours Foundation.
Similarly, with a visual processing disorder, the hold-up occurs in the brain, not someone’s eyes. This disorder “makes it difficult to interpret visual information, such as telling the difference between two shapes,” Schiff says.
What Are Some Signs Of Learning Disabilities
Many children have trouble reading, writing, or performing other learning-related tasks at some point. This does not mean they have learning disabilities. A child with a learning disability often has several related signs, and they dont go away or get better over time. The signs of learning disabilities vary from person to person.
Please note that the generally common signs included here are for informational purposes only the information is not intended to screen for learning disabilities in general or for a specific type of learning disability.
Common signs that a person may have learning disabilities include the following:
- Problems reading and/or writing
- Trouble telling time
- Problems staying organized1
A child with a learning disability also may have one or more of the following1:
- Acting without really thinking about possible outcomes
- Acting out in school or social situations
- Difficulty staying focused being easily distracted
- Difficulty saying a word correctly out loud or expressing thoughts
- Problems with school performance from week to week or day to day
- Speaking like a younger child using short, simple phrases or leaving out words in sentences
- Having a hard time listening
- Problems dealing with changes in schedule or situations
- Problems understanding words or concepts
These signs alone are not enough to determine that a person has a learning disability. Only a professional can diagnose a learning disability.
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Most Common Learning Disabilities And Disorders
The most common learning disabilities are neurologically based processing problems which might interfere with learning basic skills. These processing problems can also interfere with higher level sills.
Its important to understand that learning disabilities affect people in more ways than just at school family life and work life can also be severely impacted. The signs and symptoms of learning disabilities are often diagnosed during the school years when a person has trouble with math, reading, or writing. Some people, however, are not diagnosed until they are adults. Still others never receive a diagnosis and never understand why they have such difficulties.
Most learning disabilities are not the same as learning problems, which are usually the result of motor, hearing or visual handicaps emotional disturbances intellectual disabilities or disadvantages due to culture, environment, or economy. Usually, people with learning disabilities are of average or above-average intelligence. While they might look like any ordinary person, they may not be able to perform at the skill level you might expect.
Learning disabilities cannot be fixed or cured, but with the right kind of support, people with learning disability can be successful in relationships, at work, in school, and in the community. This list contains the most common learning disabilities and related disorders:
Concept Of Disability And Survey Methodology
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities uses the following definition for people with disabilities:
“Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”
In 2006, the second cycle of Canada’s national survey of people with disabilitiesthe Participation and Activity Limitation Survey was conducted. Information was gathered on children aged 14 and under through interviews with parents or guardians, using a children’s questionnaire. A different questionnaire was used to interview youth and adults aged 15 and over.
Under the terminology used by the survey, people with disabilities are those who reported difficulties with daily living activities, or who indicated that a physical or mental health condition or health problem reduced the kind or amount of activities they could do.
It is important to note that the respondents’ answers represent their perceptions of their situations and are therefore subjective many factors may affect an individual’s perception of the severity of disability and the limitations it places on participation and activity.
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How Does A Learning Disability Affect A Persons Life
People with learning disabilities do not learn certain skills as quickly as other people and may therefore need extra help in certain aspects of their lives. The specific skills in question will depend upon the type of disability. People with mild learning disabilities may live alone, travel independently, and work.
They may not require any support from their local authority, or may just need support in managing their finances. Other people may require more regular support to ensure their safety and health on a daily basis. Those with more severe or complex needs may need extensive, hour-to-hour help in performing basic skills, such as eating, dressing and washing.
With the right support people can live full and meaningful lives. However, if this support is not provided they may face problems in gaining independence or a home of their own, in accessing leisure and recreation activities, and/or in developing friendships and relationships.
Most Common Types Of Intellectual Disabilities In Kids
There are seven common types of Intellectual Disabilities diagnosed among children today.
This may mean a child has difficulty communicating, learning, or remembering information.
With that in mind, lets explore what you need to know about each of these intellectual disabilities
- What it is?
- Common questions and answers
- And MORE
Be sure to stick around from start to finish to access helpful links throughout along with your bonus resource.
Cerebral Palsy is the most common neurological childhood disorder.
It is brain damage that happens before or shortly after birth that affects both body movement and muscle tone.
When diagnosed, a doctor will categorize cerebral palsy into one of four types.
This is determined by the number of limbs or body parts affected including where mobility is impacted.
The four common types of cerebral palsy include
- Spastic This is the most common type affecting 70-80%.
- Ataxic This is the least common type impacting around 6%.
- Athetoid This is the second most common type.
- Mixed This is a combination of Spastic, Ataxic, or Athetoid affecting about 10% of children.
Meet my sweet nephew, Lenny, to the right.
He was diagnosed with Ataxic CP at 18 months old.
Depending on where the brain damage occurs, mobility challenges may occur in the arms, legs, hands, face, and tongue.
Even though CP is permanent damage, the condition will not worsen over time.
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